The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has announced the launch of its 2015 housing manifesto.
The joint mainfesto of ARLA and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) was launched at yesterday’s NAEA conference ‘Agents of Change’.
The associations’ principal message is that there are not enough homes being built to cope with demand from both the sales and private rented sectors.
With particular reference to the PRS, ARLA has called for the government to resist calls to commit tenants to compulsory three year leases.
It says that average tenancies currently last between 18 and 24 months and three year tenancies would not give tenants and landlords the flexibility they require.
The manifesto goes on to say that it should be compulsory for letting agents to be members of a client money protection scheme.
It also asks for tighter regulation of the entire industry but says that the government should ‘resist calls to impose an outright ban on letting agents charging fees to tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.’
The NAEA and ARLA say they have compiled the manifesto after speaking to professionals, politicians, experts and campaigners across the UK to ‘understand their hopes and fears for the housing sector’.
“Britain currently maintains a two-tier private rented market, consisting of those who operate to professional standards and those that do not. Consumers often do not know the difference between the two, thus the onus falls on them to be able to tell the difference. Our agents are already regulated and operate to the highest professional standards. They are fully qualified and we offer tenants and landlords client-money protection,” said David Cox, Managing Director of ARLA.
“The certainty we provide should not be the gold standard, but what every consumer should demand from their agent. It is imperative therefore that letting agents be members of a client money protection scheme, and that regulation be tightened for the entire industry. Greater regulation for letting agents in particular will ensure fairness, a level playing field and the removal of those agents who bring the industry into disrepute,” he added.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP was they keynote speaker at yesterday’s conference.
A full outline of NAEA and ARLA recommendations can be found here: